Originally Posted by Pál_K
Well, not entirely arbitrary: there was an evolution to it.
* Since Thanksgiving is always on Thursday, Americans began making Thursday through Sunday into a long weekend-cum-vacation. These days, it can extend from Wednesday through Monday.
* Since the next big holiday is Christmas, the perfect time to get shopping done ahead of time would be the Friday or weekend directly after Thanksgiving.
* As we all know from accounting, retailers whose finances may have been in the red often had their finances transition to the black on this Thanksgiving weekend.
* Anticipating large crowds and big sales, retailers began opening their stores at crazy early morning hours and being in such lines became a cultural tradition for some people. The cycle thus feeds on itself as a sort of shopping frenzy is anticipated by all.
So, Black Friday is not really arbitrary in origin.
Righto - BUT they are using "Black Friday" (not translated) here in Norway now. Why? Power of American media and an easy marketing ploy for the retailers.
Anyone care to enlightenment me on what Thanksgiving in Canada is all about? I never knew they had a thanksgiving.